There was a golf blog which was active for a long stretch between 2004-2010 called "No Damn Three Putts." That site hasn't been updated in over a year, but I still agree with their motto. 3-putting can kill a good hole or a good round. Most amateurs suffer many 3-putts in a round. Imagine how quickly an average amateur golfer could improve his or her scores by simply eliminating 3-putts.
Last week in Tuesday Tip #19, we suggested tracking putts per round and per hole. This week we're going to continue to track those, in addition to noting if there are any 3-putts in the round. If you can avoid the 3-putt, you'll be ahead of most amateurs.
The PGA Tour has a stat called "3-putt avoidance." What a great stat to keep. #1 on that list is Greg Chalmers, who over 954 holes to date has only 3-putted 13 times. That is a percentage of 1.36. Imagine now nice it must be for Chalmers to know that he's only likely to 3-putt once every 100 holes.
How to avoid 3-putts?
Short of suggesting a trip to a PGA professional for a putting lesson or two, here's the best suggestion I can think of for avoiding 3-putts. Find some way of getting your putting speed refined and controlled. 3-putts mostly occur because the 1st putt or "lag" putt is too far from the hole for the 2nd putt to be made on a high percentage basis. If you can control your speed and thus distance, the 2nd putt will be much easier. In fact, some first putts will start to drop.
Try practicing and focusing on simple distance control next time you are on the practice green. Controlling distance is the best way to contain or avoid the dreaded 3-putt!